• Short Summary

    Londonderry was quieter than usual on Monday (31 January) in the wake of Sunday's violence between crowds of stone-throwing youths and British paratroopers in which 13 young men were shot.

  • Description

    GV PAN Street scene in Londonderry, PAN TO cinema front

    CU Sign "Closed today"

    SV Boarded-up closed shops.

    SV ZOOM IN Priest speaks at press conference. (SOUND)

    SV Priests in press conference

    CU Miss Devlin in front of microphone (SOUND)

    SV Paratroop commander with reporter.

    CU Commander interviewed (SOUND)

    GV Fire burning in Belfast brewery (4 shots)

    GV Vehicles burn & building on fire (3 shots)

    TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 4: PRIEST: "We accuse the Commander of Land Forces of being an accessory before the fact. We accuse the soldiers of shooting indiscriminately into a fleeing crowd. of gloating over casualties, of preventing medical and spiritual aid reaching some of the dying. It is untrue that shots were fired at the troops in Rossville Street before they attacked. It is untrue that any of the dead or wounded that we attended were armed."

    SEQ. 6: DEVLIN: "Violence in the House of Commons? What about the violence that 13 people in the streets yesterday? We are the people who believe in a peaceful way to our rights, and they showed yesterday that when we outweigh them by force of numbers--we outnumbered them one to five, for every armed soldier they had--we were unarmed, and their democratic non-violent answer to 20,000 unarmed people was to shoot them down where thy stood. (INDISTINCT) are the ruling classes, if they believe in democracy or they believe in violence. I'm saying that 13 people were murdered. Murdered by the British Army, with the consent of the British Government and that makes them war criminals."

    REPORTER: "Miss Devlin, do you intend to apologise to Mr. Maudling...?"

    DEVLIN: "I'm just sorry I didn't get him by the throat."

    REPORTER: "What do you think about his independent inquiry?"

    DEVLIN: "How can they have an independent inquiry when the murderers set up the jury to inquire?"

    OFFICER: "Rubber bullets were used first of all to disperse the rioters and this is normal practice to try and get the initiative which I think we got, because we then picked up a lot of them. After that, the shooting started and so we dived for cover. And I did myself, I cn tell you."

    REPORTER: "Now some independent eye-witnesses have said they only heard one shot fired before your troops began to fire."

    OFFICER: "Well this of course is ridiculous. There was a Thompson sub-machinegun which opened fire, fired between 15 and 25 rounds, I world suspect. An M-I carbine actually fired at me as I traversed across the open ground two, maybe three shots, you don't stop to count them when you're on the move."

    REPORTER: "Are you saying that the priests and doctors and other apparently responsible people who say that your troops fired indiscriminately are in fact lying?"

    OFFICER: "They were."

    REPORTER: "You're quite sure your men didn't over-react in a tense situation?"

    OFFICER: "I'm quite certain we did not over-react."

    Initials BB/0220 JH/AS/BB/0241

    This film was shot by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
    TELERECORDING original on 1621/72 104ft

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Londonderry was quieter than usual on Monday (31 January) in the wake of Sunday's violence between crowds of stone-throwing youths and British paratroopers in which 13 young men were shot. The calmness was due to a mass protest strike which closed shops, cinemas and stopped many services. Black flags hung in many Catholic districts of the city--the Catholics claim the Army fired first and without provocation. A priest accused the Army of this in a press conference in Londonderry on Monday.

    In London, violence came to the normally staid House of Commons when Miss Bernadette Devlin, the Independent Member of Parliament for Mid-Ulster and a leading figure in the civil rights campaign, physically attacked the Home Secretary, Mr. Reginald Maulding, when refused permission to ask a question.

    Belfast was the scene of fires and shooting incidents, partly as an Irish Republican Army (IRA) protest against the shootings in Londonderry which stemmed from an illegal civil rights march.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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